Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from tooth decay.
Most tooth decay in children and teens occurs on these surfaces.
The back molar teeth are  shaped differently than the rest of our teeth and contain quite a few pits and grooves. These pits and grooves prove harder to brush well and don’t allow for harmful food and drink substances to slide off as easily. Due to the structure of these teeth, the majority of dental restorations (fillings, root canals, and crowns) occur on molar teeth.
Sealants protect the chewing surfaces  by making the tooth  surface smoother  thus keeping germs and food particles out of these grooves.
Permanent molars are the most likely to benefit from sealants. The first molars usually come into the mouth when a child is about 6 years old. Second molars appear at about age 12.
It is best if the sealant is applied soon after the teeth have erupted, before they have a chance to decay.
The sealant  coating makes the tooth  surface smoother so there is   less opportunity for food particles to get trapped and a barrier for bacteria to penetrate.
A sealant can last for as long as 5 to 10 years. Sealants should be checked at your regular dental appointment and can be reapplied if they are no longer in place.
Sealants  save time, money, and the discomfort sometimes associated with dental fillings. Fillings are not permanent. Each time a tooth is filled, more drilling is done and the tooth becomes a little weaker.

Sealants are one part of a child's total preventive dental care. A complete preventive dental program also includes fluoride, twice-daily brushing , wise food choices, and regular dental care.


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